As activities at the 2012 edition of the Abuja Carnival unfolds, the Carnival holding in the nation’s capital, called, the “Carnival of Peace and Harmony,” has started yielding positive results as the Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis of the Caribbean, Dr. Douglas Denzil, called for the promotion of cultural links between Nigeria and the Caribbean in order to revamp their rich cultural heritage.
Denzil, who made this call on Monday, November 26, 2012, at Jabi Lake, venue of the Boat Regatta event of the Carnival, said there was need for Nigeria to promote cultural links with the Caribbean in order to re-enforce their both rich history and cultural heritage. His words: “There is need for us to collaborate much more closely with each other to ensure that our people are better able to understand what Nigeria has to offer in our own cultural development and what we as a people in the Caribbean in St. Kitts and Nevis also have to offer in the continued development and advancement of Nigeria.”
The Prime Minister, who emphasized the need for partnership, love and investment between Nigeria and the Caribbean, stressed that it is very essential in order to elevate the people, build stronger societies and economy so that the quality of lives of the people will be dramatically improved.
Tracing the origin of countries of the Caribbean to West Africa and Nigeria, in particular, which he described as, “a wonderful culture country,” Denzil maintained that there is tremendous truth in the fact that the people of the Caribbean have truly come from the people of Africa: “When I recognize the colour and pageantry that was displayed on the water as well as on land. When I recognize the ability and skill of your people to climb to the top of your flat pole and for one of your own culture people to disappear entirely in a box, I tell myself that we are truly one and the same because these same skills have been demonstrated in our own carnival celebrations in the Caribbean region.”
He continued, “It reminds me so much of the history and the rich heritage of our people. It reminds me of the fact that in the 17th and 18th centuries, our people, our ancestors were taken away from our motherland, here in Africa, West Africa, in particular, and brought to the Caribbean and dropped off from boats on the Islands and, today, we have grown into a proud and independent people with our strength very strongly attached to Africa, to Nigeria and to West Africa, in particular.”
He further commended the central theme that was displayed throughout the boat regatta event, which, he said, depicted the stand against violence and a stand in support of peace and harmony at all levels in the society.
Speaking earlier, Nigeria’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, High Chief Edem Duke, said the participation of states that showcased valour and silvery at the boat regatta event, was an eloquent testimony to the fact that Nigerians are a people with great tradition and, indeed, a people with heroic achievements.
According to him, the display at the event so far had not been replicated by any other country on the continent of Africa, stressing that it is a source of pride that the displays will continue to redefine Nigeria as the cultural capital of Africa and that indeed culture and tradition is the very essence of our existence.